When one thinks about Mercedes Benz, the first impression that comes to mind is probably an elegant and luxurious saloon. One should, however, not underestimate the stellar achievements of Mercedes Benz in the car-racing arena and its commitment to making supercars.
The latest AMG GT is exemplary of Mercedes Benz’s well-known elegance luxury and reliability, but without compromising outright performance. Although this description may sound paradoxical, the latest GT is an “elegantly furious beast”.
The GT is considered by many to be the successor of the iconic SLS. Although the GT does not have gullwing doors like the SLS, it still keeps a stylish and futuristic appearance. It is smaller than the SLS and its design is even more seamless. The GT also resembles the legendary 300 SL from the 1950s. According to Zung Fu’s sales representative, the designers of the GT purposefully instilled retro elements into the body and interior of the GT.
The traditional AMG bonnet and the side vents left me in no doubt that the GT is a serious sports car. It is also noteworthy that a considerable amount of GT’s body is made out of aluminium alloy, which significantly reduces its weight and improves its agility.
The interior is just as impressive as the exterior. Although the seats are low, they are firm and comfortable. To a certain extent, it looks like an airplane cockpit! There are four centre air vents and plenty of bespoke leather, with a centre console comprising eight buttons that are very well-organised and that control an assortment of functions such as audio, engine start-stop, drive mode and, most interestingly, the volume of the exhausts, so you can ensure you will not disturb the neighbourhood with an excessive exhausts volume.
There is a tablet-style screen with a touchpad and roller dial. Needless to say, there are also USB and SD card slots for audio playback – a standard feature amongst top-end cars.
Control and Handling
The GT features a 4.0-litre V-8 engine with twin-turbochargers that can generate 462 horsepower and do the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
As with many other Mercedes models, the GT provides excellent driving dynamics. The ride was smooth and the handling was light. The GT offers precise steering response, low inertia when changing directions and outstanding traction. I understand that this is due to an optimal weight distribution between the front and rear, its low centre of gravity and its optimised suspension layout – all features typical of a top-notch race car.
However, this car is not only for speed enthusiasts. The console allows the driver to choose the Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus or Race drive mode manually with ease. Each uses the gears and suspension setup differently for optimum performance.
When I kept the GT in Comfort mode, I found it as easy to manoeuvre as a saloon. As I twisted the knob towards Sport mode or Sport Plus mode, there were apparently faster responses from the transmission.
I eventually plucked up some courage and twisted the knob all the way to Race mode as I drove along the Island Eastern Corridor. The transition was even more palpable – the shifts became extremely quick, the torque was available instantly, and the roar from the twin pipes at the back became formidable.
The GT is a well-balanced sports car with a gorgeous design and stellar engineering. It will accommodate the needs of both sports car fanatics and newbies. Doubtless it will also stand up to competition against other sports cars in the same league.
All in all, this was a truly pleasant and memorable experience to drive the GT. I would like to thank the Law Society and Zung Fu for organising the event.